Prince William and Princess Kate marked the date with a commemorative service in Wales
Princess Kate and Prince William, both 41, traveled to Wales on Friday to take part in a service commemorating Queen Elizabeth — who died on Sept. 8, 2022, at age 96 — at the historic St. Davids Cathedral.
The Princess of Wales chose a meaningful accessory for the outing: pearl and diamond earrings that previously belonged to her grandmother-in-law.
It's not the first time that Kate sported the jewels. She first borrowed the jewels from the Queen when she went to the Netherlands for her first solo foreign trip in October 2016, according to Lauren Kiehna, writer & editor of The Court Jeweller. The Queen wore the earrings to her Silver Jubilee in 1977, the outlet reports.
Princess Kate wore the same earrings multiple times in the weeks after Queen Elizabeth's death, including viewing tributes at Sandringham, receiving the Queen's coffin at Buckingham Palace and greeting Commonwealth troops who arrived in the U.K. to take part in the Queen's state funeral.
It was a fitting choice, as pearls were a staple of Queen Elizabeth's wardrobe.
"Pearls are one of the very few jewelry items you can wear in mourning and are inextricably linked with Queen Elizabeth and her personal jewelry legacy," Bethan Holt, author of The Queen: 70 Years of Majestic Style, previously told PEOPLE. "It's a symbol of mourning a monarch but also a grandmother or great-grandmother."
Wearing pearls in mourning is a tradition set by Queen Victoria following the death of her husband Prince Albert in 1861, after which she wore black until the day she died. Queen Victoria accessorized with colorless jewelry, often pearls, which she felt were more discreet and respectful than sapphires, rubies or other colored gems.
"Their power lies in the fact that they aren't overwhelming. It's a subtle and slightly restrained look and of course, the connection to the Queen is incredibly strong," added British jeweler Claudia Bradby.
Princess Kate wore pearls from Queen Elizabeth's personal collection at the monarch's funeral on Sept. 19, 2022. The Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings and four-strand pearl choker with a center diamond clasp were also worn by Kate at the funeral of Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's husband of over 70 years, in 2021.
In an intimate sign of their close relationship, Kate regularly wears jewels that belonged to the monarch and followed her lead of wearing bright colors so she could be easily spotted in the crowd.
For the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's death, Kate also recycled the burgundy coat by Epinone that she previously wore in December to host her second annual Christmas carol concert. She made the outfit fresh by adding a hat in a matching hue by Sahar Millinery.
While the royal often opts to wear red during visits to Wales, as it is a color featured on their flag, going with burgundy on Friday was likely an intentional choice. The muted shade of red fit the solemn occasion of the church service honoring Queen Elizabeth.
During the service, Princess Kate stepped forward with her husband by her side to place a bouquet of white flowers at a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, which showed her in full royal regalia including a tiara. They were visibly moved, standing solemnly before the photo in a moment of silence.
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Meanwhile, Prince Harry was spotted visiting his grandmother's burial site at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on Friday. The Duke of Sussex, 38, traveled from his home in California to the U.K. this week to the annual awards evening for WellChild, a charity supporting seriously ill children and their families.
Harry will soon head to Germany for the Invictus Games, the Paralympics-style competition for veterans and service personnel that he created, which start this weekend.
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